#Writing Update

Firstly, sorry about the lateness of this. I was going to do it on Saturday but life had to take priority. Secondly, forgive the hashtag in the title. I am experimenting with Twitter still.

Image Source: GoodSearch Images

Word count for last week was 2,319 words. I was intending to rewrite the first chapter of my novella that I wrote a while ago but in the end though, all those words ended up coming out of my Camp story and an idea that was demanding to be written.

It is so frustrating to me that I haven’t managed to sit down and do the rewrite, especially as I might have worked out how to get past the block I’ve had with it. The first chapter has been and, still is, the part I just cannot get past and rewritten because of the nature of it being a lot of exposition, without there being too much obvious exposition. Perhaps it is my subconscious telling me I need to work on the new idea for the first chapter in relation to the rest of the story that is preventing me from writing it. In other words, planning! This is something which many of you may know is not exactly my strong suit outside of “basic idea and outline but may change.”

The idea that wouldn’t leave me alone, which contributed to the word count too, is just a mission for my magical spy character from my August 2012 Camp NaNoWriMo novel and her best friend who I think might become something more to her after all. It’s a little thing that could come to nothing but at least it is out of my system and may allow me to learn more about the characters. It is set in the same world as my novella so may actually be why my brain has offered up the idea, to reintroduce me to the world since the spy character is the original character that spawned the whole idea  That cannot be a bad thing, surely?

The Camp story is hitting a stride again after the train journey. When my FMC gets among more students, it might help. The fact that there is still more exposition should add words rapidly as well as giving me elements to play with for  later in the story. I’m wondering though when to have my FMC’s big secret come out? I know how she gets back into the good books with her classmates but that I feel is contingent on the secret reveal. How long can her secret be hidden realistically within a closed school environment? I know how rapid a secret can get out and around a classroom from experience but keeping secrets, well, that is not exactly territory I know about. Can anyone help? I would be very grateful for any advice offered.

All of this is not necessarily bad as I am at least writing but at the same time, it gets me no closer to getting my novella to the stage I feel I can be sending it out. It’s annoying and yet fun which makes this a sort-of problem but not entirely. Does that make sense? I suppose not.

So what are my intentions at least for this week? One of them is to try and finished the idea story that has plagued me, with the aim of just getting it out of my system as stated above. My other aim is to keep going with my Camp story. I think I also need to make time to sit down and go through the novella MS, mark out the story as is then look to previous drafts to see what I need to put back in perhaps before looking to see how the new opening would affect everything else that happens.

So those are my intentions for this week. I will just have to see how many actually come to fruition. I am still reading the latest Alex Verus book, Veiled, by Benedict Jacka and I have read the latest issue in Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London comic, Body Work. Both of which are big influences on the original idea for the novella and I know they influence all of my work in some form so it may help to keep me writing.

Keep Writing!

The intention of this post really is to get an idea of who is still writing after National Novel Writing Month has finished and to give a little advice. Have people fallen by the wayside? Are they still writing? Are they working on the same story or another one?

Santa might be coming but don’t stop writing! Source: Google Images

It is post-NaNoWriMo and I am still writing the same story and it is still throwing up surprises. I am glad it is as it makes continuing to write it a joy. Let’s face it, once the amazing energy of the month of November has gone and we get ourselves ready for Santa to come, it is very easy to stop and give up. Having a goal to work towards has helped me as I am very goal orientated I have realised in the last few years but for others, it might be something completely different. The love of the story, the characters, the world the story is set in… Any manner of things can keep us writing.

Everyone has heard the advice to write everyday and it is possibly clichéd and overused but hearing it so often can only show that maybe it is good advice to follow. If you stop, it can be difficult to start again. It is a possible reason why people struggle with New Years Resolutions. We do it for a while, stop then pick it up again. The same goes with writing and if you wrote everyday during November, why not continue to write everyday? What about starting a journal or blog of some sort? Dreams, life, books, films; you could chronicle any number of things by sitting down and writing everyday.

If you loved your story from November and didn’t finish, why not keep going with it? If you did, go you! But keep going! Keep writing! If you joined write-in’s during NaNoWriMo, why not arrange more so people can set the guilt monkeys on you? See if your region has regular ones through the year.

In January and February, the NaNoWriMo website will be updated to give editing hints and tips and to get you going. Editing and rewriting is, perhaps, the toughest part of writing any type of story, from the short story to the novelling epics. Get your manuscript ready for then. Get it finished. Put it away to let it breathe. Work on something else then, in January, whilst hung over (or otherwise!), get it out and start reading through.

Just Don’t Stop Writing!

So who’s with me? Who’s writing? Or am I a lone voice shouting to no one in particular?

Top Tip Of The Week

Anyone got any advice on titling? I seriously struggle with it, as my blog may show.

esthernewtonblog

A Tantalising Title!

Some of my students have asked me whether it’s important to give a short story a title. The answer is a huge yes! When a magazine editor/short story judge is faced with a big pile of short stories, one with an eye-catching/intriguing title will instantly have him/her interested in reading your story. Read the following titles and see how they make you want to read the actual story:

  • The Secret Diary of a Serial Killer
  • The Unborn
  • The Hanging
  • In Search of Dinosaurs
  • Screaming Point
  • Not What I Wanted
  • The Final Journey
  • Watching

I’m sure you’re now thinking up plenty of your own. Hopefully they’ll also spark off a story idea!

Have a great weekend. Here’s my Friday funny for you:

Funny-Animal-09

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30 Tips to get more exposure for a book

Well worth a read!

AUTHORS PROMOTION

Excerpt from my book How To Promote and Market Your Book by Madi Preda

30 Book Marketing Tips:a recruiting
I have included a variety of tips and I am sure that you will find something on the to do list that you can do to build your brand and sell your book.

1. Create a testimonial page on your website.
2. Offer advanced reading copies ARC.
3. Ask fans to post their reviews on your Facebook page.
4. Ask fans to post their reviews on Amazon.
5. Ask fans to post their reviews on Goodreads.
6. Offer bloggers advanced reading copies.
7. Set up a virtual book tour.
8. Create your street team.
9. Create seasonal videos: Mother’s day book, Summer Reads, Have Fun in the Sun, Autumn fall, Santa’s Book Recommendation, Spring-new reads, etc.
10. Register as an author on Amazon, Goodreads, AuthorsDen, Google Authorship.
11. Create a book…

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Ten Writing Competitions 2014

Need something to do this summer? Have a look at these competitions.

Cat Lumb: The Struggle to be a Writer

It’s time to dust off those pens, power up those PC’s and shake yourself off to enter some of the upcoming writing competitions out there! I’ve been focusing far too much on the WIP of late to have entered any recently, so thought I’d share some options with you. Happy writing – and good luck to those who enter: you have to be in it, to win it!

keep-calm-its-competition-time-7Luke Bitmead Bursary
Deadline: 1st August 2014
Entry: Free, completed manuscripts only
Legend Press host this annual prize and are looking for adult fiction novels, over 50,000 words from first-time, unpublished writers who find it difficult (due to financial or personal circumstances) to focus on their writing career. All submissions should be uploaded via the online system and consist of seperate files containing a one-page synopsis, a personal statement and up to fifty pages of the novel. The winner will receive £2,500…

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Why They Write

This caught my eye a few days ago but I am only just getting round to reblogging it now because I’ve been thinking about my own reasons for writing.

I agree with those that say that the reason changes day-to-day. For me, I write because my mind keeps coming up with stories, even before I realised what I was doing when I was younger. I suppose when I was younger, it was just my imagination coming up with games to play but as I got older, it continued and I started writing down the stories (a lot of fan fiction) because one of my school teachers pointed out that I had a gift for it.

It is also partly because I had just found my genre, the type of books and stories I liked to read and write, around the same time. JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series inspired millions of children around the world and I am one of those. Even now, I go back to the premise of the Harry Potter series and Enid Blyton’s school stories, especially the Malory Towers series occasionally.

I love fantasy stories, I enjoy school stories and over the years, I have also come to enjoy romance, crime, drama and some comedy and sci-fi stories. As I have read them, I have incorporated that in my writing. My writing can become dark in places but it can also be light.

What is it about them? It’s the escapism. It’s the discovering a world different to our own, sometimes right on our doorsteps. It’s the common premise of school that most people will be able to relate to. It’s the rooting for the characters to be together, the solving of a puzzle, the everyday dilemmas that we experience in our lives and the fabulous funny moments that we think of later which makes you smile and laugh out loud.

Even in the stories set in a place different from our own, there is the baseline of common themes and occurrences in our lives. That’s what attracts me to those sorts of stories and probably attracts many, many others to them too.

Reading and writing are inextricably interlinked I feel. You can’t do one without the other.

I also write because it is a type of therapy and escapism. When the life is getting stressful and tough, it is a nice way to escape for a while and to get out all those feelings through characters on to the physical (or virtual!) page. If I didn’t have an outlet for those sorts of feelings, and others, I don’t know where I would be.

I would love to get paid to write and maybe that will happen in the future but for now, it’s therapy, escapism and an outlet for all the stories clamouring in my head.

Is my answer clichéd? Perhaps but that’s how I feel today. Who knows? Tomorrow, I might have a completely different answer.

Legends of Windemere

Kenshin Himura (How I feel) Kenshin Himura

Sorry!  I totally forgot that I was going to list people’s answers and reasons to Monday’s question.  Please check out the blogs and published works of everyone:

“I’m on board with most of that but I write poetry and know there is no money in that.” The Mirror Obscura

“I love writing because I’m totally addicted to it since the day when I started reading “anything” so seriously” Insight

“For me as a total readerholic and mental escape artist all my life, the writing came late, but now that particular joy of creating worlds, people, dragons, scenarios – whatever – can’t be matched by anything else that I’ve ever done.” Jo Robinson

“I think the reason evolves over time. I began writing as a way to express myself in a healing way. But then I began writing poetry. Poetry is a great self-expression for me and I…

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Camp NaNoWriMo Days 29, 30 and Reflection

2014 Participant Banner

This Camp session was a bit of  a fail.

Day 29: 12,501 words

Day 30: 13,159 words

From my word count, you can see I managed a quick final burst before the session ended but unfortunately this is down to the fact I was just writing a quick short story that I still need to finish as I didn’t have time to finish.

In the past, I have said plotting and failing to plan was my down fall for not finishing but this time around, I did plan. I know I have mentioned before the problems I have had with the characters and I know they are part of the problem but I have wondered as well if maybe I actually need to redraft the plot a bit to make sure it works out properly. It might also end up lowering the age it is aimed at.

These are my first reflections on the novel and it might just be I need to leave it even longer to work out what is the problem and how to fix it. I am not sure. I just don’t know. Heck, it might just not have anything to do with the story or the characters, it could be something else completely.

Anyway, well done to those who did complete the session.

2014 Participant Banner 2